2020 Australian Open Picks and Predictions
January 3, 2020
The 2020 Australian Open is the first major tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year, and the decade, and will take place from January 20 until February 2. The Australian Open will be held at Melbourne Park and the 2020 edition will be the 108th time this tournament has been held. It will also be the 52nd time it will be held in the Open era.
The first ever Australian Open, which was known as the Australasian Championships, took place in 1905 when Australian Rodney Heath beat fellow countryman Albert Curtis. The first ever women’s event took place in 1922 with another all-Australian affair with Margaret Molesworth defeating Esna Boyd. The tournament was renamed as the Australian Championships in 1927 and remained that way until they changed it to the Australian Open in 1969.
Read all about the Australian Open 2021.
The Australian Open is a very popular event in the world of tennis. The 2019 event was the highest attending tournament in the history of the Australian Open. Over 780,000 people watched the matches live.
Can Djokovic Defend the Throne?
The Australian Open is also known as the ‘Happy Slam’ as it is believed to the favorite tournament of the players. It is not just the players who enjoy the Australian Open. Fans swarm from all over the world to get a glimpse of their favorite stars. Up until 1993, it was described more like a Struggling Slam because of the low prize money, unrealistic ranking points and basically lack of interest from the players.
That has all changed now. The best players in the world fly thousands of miles and give up their Christmas break in order to be ready for Melbourne. Two players who have benefited the most in recent years are Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Between them, they have won 13 titles from 2004.
Defending champion and current number two seed, Djokovic is the tournament favorite and can be backed at +150 at 888sport to win the Australian Open for the eighth time.
He defeated famous rival Rafael Nadal in straight sets in 2019 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to be crowned champion and he will be eager to do that again at the start of a new decade.
Spaniard Nadal, who has one Australian Open title (2009), is currently ranked number one in the world. He is seen as the second favorite to be crown the first champion of 2020 at +300.
Next in line, and it will come as no shock at all, is Roger Federer. Federer is arguably the best tennis player ever to grace the courts. He is ranked third at the moment and he can be backed at +600.
On paper, you probably have the best chance of winning your pick if you select any of those three. But this is the first Grand Slam event of the year, and anything can happen. Let’s have a look at some other odds in the men’s section that may tempt you into making an outside bet.
Russian Daniil Medvedev has yet to win a major tennis title, but he is capable of causing an upset in Australia and making a name for himself. The 23-year-old reached the fourth round last year and also lost in the final of the US Open. This proves he is capable of mixing it with the best. He can be backed at +800 and is certainly worth considering as an outside bet.
Looking down the list of competitors in Melbourne, there are a number of top-class players on show. But are any of them good enough to stop the likes of Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer?
Probably not, but Dominic Thiem (+1400), Nick Kyrgios (+4000), Grigor Dimitrov (+6600) and Marin Cilic (+1000) have been on the courts long enough to cause an upset or two along the way.
We’ve opted to go for Federer to win this trophy in 2020. Why?
Federer is one of, if not THE greatest tennis player of all time. He may be ranked third in this tournament, but you can never write him off. He last won the Australian Open in 2018 when he defeated Marin Cilic for his sixth success.
Last year, he failed to even make the quarter-finals. That would have been hard for the Swiss superstar to accept. He failed to win a single Major in 2019, so all the experts are already writing him off. That is their first mistake. A wounded Federer is a dangerous Federer. He will be on top form to kick off a new decade and that is why we believe he will go level on seven titles with Djokovic.
Osaka, Barty, and Williams Favored to Win the Trophy
The prize money for the 2020 Australian Open has been increased by a staggering 13.6%, meaning the total is a record $71,000,000 Aus. The women’s event will be a tough hard battle, with three of the top ladies looking to outdo each other for prize money and ranking points.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who is ranked fourth for this tournament and third in the world, is the defending champion after defeating Petra Kvitova 7-6, 7-5, 6-4 in 2019. Despite being a two-time Grand Slam winner, Osaka is only seen as the third favorite to win in Australia again. She can be backed at +650.
The overall favorite to win in Melbourne is an American legend, Serena Williams. The 23-time Grand Slam champion has won the Australian Open seven times – the last coming in 2017. She was dumped out in the quarter-finals last time out. She can be backed as the +550 favorite to make it title number eight Down Under. The smart money is on Serena, but she will also have a target on her back.
The one player chasing her down the hardest will be number one seed for this event and home favorite – Ashleigh Barty. The 23-year-old will be hoping to do her country proud on home soil as she goes in search of only her second Grand Slam title. She has never got past the quarter-final stage in her home tournament, but she is the defending French Open champion and ranked number one in the world. She is the second favorite for this tournament and can be backed at +600 to be crowned a national treasure in her home country.
There is no room for sentiment in sport. If there was, then Caroline Wozniacki would be handed the trophy right now. The popular Dane has only ever won one major in her career – the Australian Open in 2018. She will retire from the sport at the end of this tournament and she will be determined to bow out a champion. Despite her incredible career, she is not seen as one of the women who can challenge the likes of Williams, Barty or Osaka. She is on offer at a staggering +12000 to win the whole thing.
The women’s field is full of amazing players who are capable of shining in the Australian sun. The best of the rest include; Simona Halep (+700), Elina Svitolina (+1300), last year’s runner up Kvitova (+1500) and Angelique Kerber (+2500). All these are capable of being there in the final.
Home advantage will be a massive plus in this year’s Australian Open. That is why our tip is Ashleigh Barty. The further she goes in the competition, the more Australians will turn out to support. There is one thing Aussies love more than most – that’s winning. Barty will thrive on her success and she will be confident of her own ability. A home banker for us.
Get more free picks in our Tennis Picks Guide.
Admir aka “The Admiral” has been around the sports industry for more than two decades as a professional athlete and sports agent.